Cardiac Stim1 Silencing Impairs Adaptive Hypertrophy and Promotes Heart Failure Through Inactivation of mTORC2/Akt Signaling
Background—STromal Interaction Molecule 1 (STIM1) is a dynamic calcium signal transducer implicated in hypertrophic growth of cardiac myocytes. STIM1 is thought to act as an initiator of cardiac hypertrophic response at the level of the sarcolemma but the pathways underpinning this effect have not been examined.
Methods and Results—To determine the mechanistic role of STIM1 in cardiac hypertrophy and during the transition to heart failure, we manipulated STIM1 expression in mice cardiac myocytes using in vivo gene delivery of specific short hairpin RNAs. In three different models, we found that Stim1 silencing prevents the development of pressure-overload induced hypertrophy but also reverses pre-established cardiac hypertrophy. Reduction in STIM1 expression promoted a rapid transition to heart failure. We further showed that Stim1 silencing resulted in enhanced activity of the anti-hypertrophic and pro-apoptotic GSK-3β molecule. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3 was sufficient to reverse the cardiac phenotype observed after Stim1 silencing. At the level of ventricular myocytes, Stim1 silencing or inhibition abrogated the capacity for phosphorylation of AktS473, a hydrophic motif of Akt that is directly phosphorylated by mTORC2. We found that Stim1 silencing directly impaired mTORC2 kinase activity, which was supported by a direct interaction between STIM1 and Rictor, a specific component of mTORC2 complex.
Conclusions—These data support a model whereby STIM1 is critical to deactivate a key negative regulator of cardiac hypertrophy. In cardiac myocytes, STIM1 acts by tuning Akt kinase activity through activation of mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2), which further results in repression of GSK-3β activity.
- Received December 1, 2015.
- Revision received February 2, 2016.
- Accepted February 25, 2016.